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Prescott National Forest damage from Crooks Fire to be assessed by BAER Team

The fire is nearing 100% containment as the spread of the flames begins to slow, fire officials said.

PRESCOTT, Ariz. — Editor's note: The above video aired during a previous broadcast.

A team of scientists and specialists is being deployed to assess the damage left behind in the wake of the still-burning Crooks Fire, fire officials said Monday.

A Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team is being created consisting of experts from numerous fields including soil science, geology and botany, a Prescott National Forest representative said. The team will identify any post-fire threats and unacceptable threats for the National Forest Service.

ORIGINAL STORY: Crooks Fire containment jumps to 75% after burning nearly 9,400 acres south of Prescott

"The team’s focus is on the emergency actions necessary to protect life and safety, property and critical natural and cultural resources on NFS lands," BAER Team leader David Moore said. "The teams collect data during ground surveys and complete GIS and modeling to evaluate the post-fire risks."

The first step of the assessment will be analyzing satellite imagery and ground survey data to see how severely soil was burnt in the area. This will determine whether there are any conditions for a post-fire emergency, such as a flood.

"Flash flooding could occur quickly during heavy rain events," Moore said. "Everyone near and downstream from the Crooks Fire burned area should remain alert and stay updated on weather conditions that may result in heavy rains over the area."

Wildfires in Arizona

Get the latest information on how to stay safe and protect your home during wildfire season in Arizona.

RELATED: Tunnel Fire nearing 100% containment as evacuations continue to lift, officials say

Residents in wildfire-prone areas are urged to have an emergency supplies kit to bring with them of they are evacuated from their homes, especially as Arizona residents are beginning to see early widespread fire activity throughout the state.

An emergency supply kit should be put together long before a wildfire or another disaster occurs. Make sure to keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that residents near a disaster store emergency supplies in a plastic tub, small suitcase, trash can, backpack, or other containers.

Residents should make sure they have the necessities, such as three gallons of water per person and a three-day supply of ready-to-eat food, the NFPA said. A first-aid kit, prescription medications, contact lenses, and non-prescription drugs should also be taken into account.

Copies of any important family documents, including insurance policies, identification, bank account records, and emergency contact numbers should also be taken and put into a waterproof, portable container in your kit, the NFPA said.

The association lists other items that would help in a disaster, including:

  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and an NOAA weather radio to receive up-to-date information
  • Dust mask or cotton T-shirt to filter the air
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Complete change of clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirts, and sturdy shoes stored in a waterproof container
  • Signal flare

The entire NFPA checklist of supplies can be found here.

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